Haavamaal is the best known and most often quoted of the Eddic poems. Many of the verses from the poem are often used and quoted in widely varied circumstances today over 1000 years after the poem was first authored.

Haavamaal was put together from several different poetic songs that were composed in a special meter in the period from 700-900. Each of these poetic songs were first oral traditions of the people, before they were put together as a poem of 164 verses thus becoming the longest of the Eddic poems.

Haavamaal means "Sayings of the High One". The 'High One' being the god Odin who was the most powerful and wisest of the Nordic gods. In the poem he gives the people advice on  how to act and live in order for life to be rich and meaningful.It is uncertain where Haavamaal was composed. Varying theories point to Norway, Iceland and the British Isles.

The poem can be divided into several parts based on the content. The best known section is the first part and it consists of 77 verses. It's a collection of rules for living that most often resemble sayings. In the following parts we hear of love between a man and a woman, betrayal, everyday advice, the mystique of religion, and finally songs of sorcery.As with much Norse literature we don't know the author/authors of Haavamaal.

- 14. august 2004 -